Just about everyone knows that when you have an upset and are emotionally down, your digestive tract, otherwise known as the gut, can become upset too. I've had the occasional emotional upset followed by gurgling in the gut and I bet many of you have too.
While the occasional upset isn't a big deal, long term stress leads to adrenal fatigue, which in turn can cause leaky gut syndrome triggering the factors that contribute to autoimmne disease.1 Some of the autoimmune disorders associated with Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS) are fibromyalgia, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, eczema, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and even Alzheimer's Disease.2,3Did you know that autoimmune disease is reported to be the third most common category of disease in the United States after cancer and heart disease?4 Conservative estimates indicate that three-quarters of the persons with autoimmune diseases are women.5
The most common autoimmune diseases are: Rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, multiple sclerosis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Graves disease, type 1 diabetes, Sjögren's syndrome, Crohn's disease, celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, Addison's disease, Guillain-Barre syndrome, temporal arteritis and Ménière's disease.
There are many triggers for autoimmune disease such as heavy metal and toxic chemical overload, however this article focuses on how chronic stress (emotional and chemical) can over-power your adrenal glands and emotional stability leading to LGS thus triggering autoimmunity.
You can you tell if your adrenals are fatiguing by the following symptoms:
- inability to fall asleep
- inabiity to stay asleep
- difficulty waking up in the morning
- not feeling rested after sleep
- not recovering from physical activity
- drop in energy between 4pm and 7pm
- unexplained blood sugar symptoms
- inflammation, pain, and headache episodes that repeat daily (diurnal pattern)
Fortunately a simple but accurate test can measure your adrenal stress called the The Adrenal Stress Index™, which I often use in my assessment of patients to determine if adrenal issues are a connected to their health challenge.
When your adrenal glands are fatigued your circadian rhythm (popularly known as your body clock) goes awry. Recent studies of disrupted circadian rhythm showed breakdown occurs in blood vessels which leads to hypertenson and blood pooling.6 Other researchers have found that "there is currently sufficient evidence to suggest that circadian rhythms are important to gut function, metabolism, and mucosal defense, and that further investigation will uncover connections between disordered rhythms and gastrointestinal malfunction.7
Basically, what ends up happening is the adrenal glands begin to break down, then the gut starts getting leaky, the inflammatory chemicals of the immune system cause brain inflammmation, which in turn futher degrades the circadian rhythm. This vicious cycle can continue to spiral out of control because the LGS triggers more inflammation due to increaed sensitivity to food proteins that end up in the blood stream where they don't belong.You end up with emotional outbursts, failing memory, and seemingly unrelated illnesses start stacking up as the gut and brain barriers continue to break down.
By this time you are going from doctor to doctor, only to be labled with depression and anxiety and along with drugs to treat your mental symptoms, you end up with a myriad of prescriptions for all the other symptoms you now have. You are feeling frustrated and hopeless as your life passes you by. You can hardly remember what it feels like to feel good.
Often the scenario I just described, fits the average chronic condition patients that calls my office for help. Fortunately with my unique training and skill set aided by excellent tests that Cyrex Labs offers, I can assist those patients in their health recovery.
Based on each patient test results, I customize a treatment plan (aimed at improving the patients underlying neurological, structural and metabolic abnormalities) combining the necessary elements of 5 important treatment tenents:
- Dietary changes
- Lifestyle changes
- Specific nutritional supplementation (including detoxing if needed)
- Gut healing and inflamation quenching
- Johnson Brain-Based Therapy
Although this article is somewhat brief, I hope you can appreciate the importance of the impact of adrenals on gut health. I have additional information on my unique treatment approach on this website.
If you would like me to assess your health, click on the big orange button below to schedule your case review.
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1 Segerstrom, Suzanne C.; Miller, Gregory E., Psychological Stress and the Human Immune System: A Meta-Analytic Study of 30 Years of Inquiry, Psychological Bulletin. 130(4), Jul 2004, 601-630.
2 Gurevich D, Siegel B, Dumlao M, Perl E, Chaitin P, Bagne C, Oxenkrug G. Prog, HPA Axis Responsivity To Dexamethasone And Cognitive Impairment In Dementia,
Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 1990;14(3):297-308.
3Murialdo G, Nobili F, Rollero A, Gianelli MV, Copello F, Rodriguez G, Polleri A., Hippocampal Perfusion And Pituitary-Adrenal Axis In Alzheimer's Disease, Neuropsychobiology. 2000;42(2):51-7.
4 National Institutes of Health Autoimmune Disease Coordinating Committee Report, 2002. Bethesda (MD): The Institutes; 2002.
5 Jacobson DL, Gange SJ, Rose NR, Graham NMH. Epidemiology and estimated population burden of selected autoimmune disease in the United States. Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1997;84:223–43.
6 Norihiko Takeda and Koji Maemura. Circadian Clock And Vascular Disease, Hypertens Res.2010 July;33(7):645-651
7 Bron R, Furness JB. Rhythm Of Digestion: Keeping Time In The Gastrointestinal Tract,
Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2009 Oct;36(10):1041-8. Epub 2009 Jun 29.